Hazbi Lika, the former guerrilla commander turned Zaev’s Deputy Prime Minister who is best known for simply not showing up at work, was “rewarded” in the Parliament today as his department was elevated to a full scale Ministry.
The new Ministry is in charge of “political system and inter-community relations”. It is being built atop the Secretariat tasked with implementing the Ohrid peace treaty – mainly dealing with hiring more ethnic Albanians in the public sector administration and expanding the use of the Albanian language.
Given the political debt Prime Minister Zoran Zaev owes to the ethnic Albanian voters and the DUI party, he agreed to increase the influence of the Secretariat, and in the future it will also be tasked with implementing the law on the use of the Albanian language which Zaev pushed through Parliament, in the face of President Ivanov and legal experts who found it unconstitutional.
The law turns Macedonia into a fully bilingual country, with the Albanian language imposed in official use even in municipalities with little to no Albanian citizens. It is expected that the Ministry will manage a vast translation service which will translate an ever growing number of documents, forms, public addresses and comments into Albanian.